January – A Quick Summary

We started our event by sharing a piece of great news.

For the month of January, we had two startups receiving offers from investors on our panel. In addition to the two offers, we have a third company in a review that can potentially also receive an offer.

Now, receiving an offer and actually agreeing to the terms are different things. We are now looking to hear back from the startup founders and see if the investment terms were favorable and accepted by the founders.

The Pitching Process

It seems like the process we have established works really well and startups and investors like it.

We stick to 5 minutes for pitching and another 5 minutes for investors Q & A session. This format gives a startup good 10 minutes to explain what they do and to communicate with the investors.

In addition, the breakout rooms continue to be accepted by founders and investors as a valuable part of the event. This allows the investors to have one-on-one quick conversations with the founders and eventually get connected to talk further about potential partnerships.

Startups That Pitched At The February 3rd Online Event

TANA Therapeutics

Kiet Ly presents his startup TANA Therapeutics

TANA Therapeutics has reengineered the industry-standard TAT cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) and created “an extraordinary (intracellular) delivery tool” as commented by a founder of a publicly traded CPP company in his scientific peer-review of TANA’s manuscript for publication.

The New Frontier in Medicine is intracellular therapeutics for gene expression, gene editing, tissue engineering. JnJ, Moderna, Pfizer vaccines would not be possible without an intracellular delivery tool (IDT) to transport DNA/mRNA therapeutics into cells which then dictate cells to produce the spike proteins. IDTs capitalize on the cell’s digestive “endocytic pathway” for the delivery of drugs/payloads.

The Holy Grail in IDT is full exploitation of the endocytic pathway to maximize payload delivery efficiency. Lipid nanoparticles (LPN) and AAV (viral vector) are IDTs used by Moderna/Pfizer and JnJ achieved at best 50% delivery efficiency. Yet, these vaccines have made $10s Billion even at delivery efficiency with much room for improvement. Drug dosage can be optimized for effect at the trade-off of increased side effects risk.

Our IDT, TANA-Porter, demonstrated 90%+ payload delivery efficiency and minimal toxicity (95%+ cell viability). These achievements are unmatched by IDTs in published literature. Furthermore, LPNs and viral vectors face greater concern with immunogenicity and genotoxicity than CPPs. They are difficult to produce and store creating problems with scalability as seen with the Covid vaccines. CPPs are generally simple to produce and store thus highly scalable. However, nearly all CPPs suffer from poor delivery efficiency.

TANA-Porter solved this problem. Furthermore, TANA-Porter remains unbound to payloads. Thus, it can serve as an equal opportunity porter to deliver payloads without conjugating and altering the payload molecular structure. TANA-Porter is a simple mix-and-use cocktail.

TANA Business Model takes full advantage of TANA-Porter’s versatility to achieve revenue. Short-term: Sell TANA-Porter as an IDT for Research Use Only (RUO) to basic sciences labs for R&D works. RUO approval can be achieved within 24 months. IDTs for RUO is a $1B industry.

Mid-term: As payload-unbound, TANA-Porter may be applied as an ingredient/excipient to approved drugs/chemos that work inside cells. TANA-Porter’s role is to increase intracellular availability of drugs thereby enhancing drug efficacy and reducing the dosage. This would reduce toxicity and side effects, the roadblocks to maximizing a drug’s potential. Such an IDT would be well rewarded.


Carlo Scaglia presents his startup EXORDI.

Exordi crowdsources specialized content for marketing agencies through AI and ML. Agencies need to create & sell the content but their current processes cannot be scaled. They rely on sending production teams halfway across the world to shoot content they probably don’t know about.

So, Exordi aggregates the best of the best creators, irrespective of followers, and matches them through ML to our standardized briefs published on the platform. By doing so we cut production time and costs by half while doubling average KPIs.

Currently, we are building a text-to-vision AI which tracks the content we sell breaks it down based on tags & understands which are the highest performing tags. Once we have those, we can synthetically create a piece of content that our creators then use as a blueprint.

We’re a team of 3, myself, Martina, and Sumedha (she had an exit at 19) with a team of skilled college engineers. Exordi has been out for about 3 months. In the meantime, we have tripled our creator base, doubled our client waitlist with companies like Pepsi, Powerade, Claires, and Buzzfeed. What we lack is a suitable product since our MVP cannot handle that capacity of content & data.

Exordi does have competition. Our competitors are Social Natives, Vidzy, and Billo. However, compared to them we’re fully focused on B2B by catering to marketing/media/communication/advertising agencies. Also, we don’t care about influencers and these companies don’t synthetically generate blueprints for future best performing content.

We’re currently focused on sports and outdoor content but Exordi will be scaled to everything that is passion-driven such as music, art, food & fashion. By doing so, we will build the most highly segmented audiences, positioning Exordi as The Home of Passion and Talent.

Vertical Growth

Dan Melton presents his startup Vertical Growth.

The Vertical Growth Farming System (VGFS) represents a novel approach to address hunger and malnutrition around the globe. Its unique design, unparalleled crop yield potential, robust construction, and global portability offer national, state, and local government agencies as well as non -governmental organizations the “turn-key” means to make a difference in a cost-effective, efficient manner.

The VGFS consists of a standard 20’ shipping container which has been modified to incorporate four major subsystems. These subsystems are:

  • Tube Array -The array’s 60 grow tubes consisting of a total of 2, 160 “plant points” are the heart of the proprietary VGFS. Hydroponic fertilization allows for multiple harvests annually of native and non-native crops using minimal water.
  • Solar Panels -Mounted on top of the container once it’s in place, the solar panels provide abundant electrical energy to power the various subsystems. Energy is stored in the provisioned batteries.
  • Grow Room -This is where seedlings are grown prior to placing them in the grow tubes.
  • Cold Storage -It’s likely that not all the harvest will be immediately consumed or sold at the market, so the VGFS incorporates the means for short-term food storage. Cooling is provided through a mini-split A/C system.

The VGFS’ growing cycle is really no different than most traditional farming methods; however, the system’s capabilities permit the simultaneous growing of seedlings and crops, significantly increasing annual yield. In addition, the system’s vertical growing approach results in a small footprint measuring 8’ x 46’ (2.44m x 14.02m). Production of a full-scale, fully-functioning prototype is underway and considerable progress is being made in the selection and procurement of major components, the vast majority of which are commercial off-the-shelf (COTS).

The grow tubes along with their trellis system have been designed and their manufacture is under design. Other non-COTS components have been identified and potential sources of supply are being identified. The lead for this project is Dandridge Melton, a long-time resident of San Luis Obispo, Ca. and a successful serial entrepreneur. He and his small pro bono team of experts in solar energy, hydroponics, and system operations and sustainment are committed to developing a system that has the very real potential to reduce world hunger.

If you are interested in learning more or believe you can contribute to this endeavor, please contact Dan at dan@verticalgrowth.farm


Feliana Citradewi presents her startup LiVert.

LiVert is the pioneer solution to connect people nearby who purchase on the same website to group their purchases in order to get free and greener delivery.

Trio founders: Our adventure started by coming to France, our paths crossed and we had a real professional match due to our similar background and a big hit on LiVert project.

Feliana Citradewi, CEO, The winner of the national business competition at high school. At the age of 16, Feliana proposed a visionary concept to match traditional and modernity.

Rahul Kapoor, CTO, Polytechnique. As a teenager, he got an unusual hobby: creating websites! He started his first e-learning start-up in India.

Anass Abdelilah, CMO Master specialized in data marketing and e-commerce. An entrepreneur at 18 years old, Certified manager on Shopify.


LiVert is a pioneer of online shipping pooling solutions for individuals and on the other side, helps the brand to recover their abandoned cart (60% caused by delivery cost).

LiVert innovative algorithm calculates the minimum amount of geolocalized people in order to get free delivery in every e-commerce website partner.

Consumer side:

Grouping purchases through LiVert : The environmental impact of the last kilometers will be divided by two (-750g CO₂ per order)Less use of packaging (two in one package) Brand side: By partnering with ShopMate: Customers will get free delivery by grouping with other customers. LiVert helps retailers avoid basket abandonments by proposing free and greener delivery.

Market fit:

LiVert project got great support with more than 17000 likes on our Linkedin post (unsponsored) within a week with over 1 million views.


  • E-commerce in France = € 100 billion
  • Abandoned carts = 75% of purchases started
  • 60% are caused by delivery costs
  • 75% of consumers wish to could pool their delivery
  • 20 billion potential markets for LiVert

Business model:

10% commission based paid by our partner brands (with more than 150 major brands (Amazon, Rue du Commerce, Ali express, Castorama, Shein, etc…)State: Early income. The mobile application is available,


  • B2C 4000 active users
  • More than 2000 wishes to pool delivery family, clubs)
  • 100 succeeded matches and purchases

Grants / BPI:

30K€ grant from the BPI French bank subsidy Burn rate: Around 1K monthly (8-10 months runway without revenue)


1M$ valuaion post-money 10M$.


Jeffrey Monson presents his startup labr.

Work with people you like, find them faster. Labr is a platform for finding people along with warm connections and improving transparency in the workplace. Search based on who has worked with each other before and view team health.

Finding people is the most important thing we do, whether it’s for a job, a new customer, or a new recruit. How do we find people? Often, by going through people we know and trust–the best opportunities are granted through trust networks before they’re published externally. However, this process doesn’t scale–it’s not practical to reach out to 500 people in your network and have them reach out to 500 people each.

Labr is a network of people with their associations to organizations and teams, as well as their work-style compatibility with others. Each connection has a weight, representing relationship strength. Weights are determined by how long, recent, and closely people worked together–not by their email, calendar, or LinkedIn connection volume. Additionally, work-style compatibility is mapped: each user has a similarity to others who have worked with the same people. Further, recommendations for new people are constructed based on users’ similarity networks–if we’ve worked with the same people and there’s someone you love working with that I haven’t worked with yet, that person is recommended.

Data to power the platform are collected from another feature: easy + simple performance evaluations. Teams can run monthly or quarterly feedback through Labr; these data show work and compatibility history. Compatibility ratings across the network illustrate problematic managers, customers, and, by layering on diversity + inclusion characteristics, workplace bias.

The first target audience is professionals in need of sales/CRM, recruiting, staffing, and performance management support.

Later markets include schools (student-school matching + admissions) and healthcare (patient-doctor matching). The size of the user base(potentially billions) supports a large TAM.


Jordan Askew presents his startup Phytoverse.


An opportunity to earn a 5x multiple on investment inside ofa90–120-day window and achieved through our flagship NFT launch sale.


Phytoverse, Inc aims to provide digital entertainment services to users in the form of a WebGL-based metaverse(Phytoverse™) consisting of various themed planets, powered by an NFT enabled digital access passport and governed by a native P2P verse economy. A mobile-based app version will be developed to complement the browser-based system.


Physical movement and/or transport of users inside of any given metaverse remains cumbersome, limited, fixed, and most of all, time-consuming. Current users of any metaverse must manually steer and guide their avatars from place to place, or travel by using fixed portal systems.


Our solution to this problem comes in the form of an avatar wearable passport device called Phyto Pass, which is a digital access pass in the form of a multifunctional DAPP. It is a digital passport and portal generator that instantly teleports a user’s avatar to any desired location, initially within the Phytoverseand eventually into key areas of other metaverses as partnerships are secured. Other key features include P2P messaging functionality and “lazy.com” style dashboard portfolio management of assets, including coins, tokens, game assets, and landholdings.


Return on investment comes from our10,000 Generative NFTFlagship launch on the Solana blockchain. The NFT costs $450 and early adopters of this NFT project would be purchasing exclusive ownership rights to Phyto PassDevice, and a piece of land located on the Phytoverse Home planet. These users will have lifetime VIP access to Phytoverse. All other participants in the Phytoverse will need to purchase and maintain a subscription to access most verse areas and premium functionalities.


The two obvious competitors in the metaverse space right now are Decentraland and Sandbox. We have opted for a collaborative“plug and play” theme in our metaverse which allows us to largely avoid direct competition and instead focus on collaborative solutions for all verse users regardless of the metaverse. We have opted for a collaborative revenue stream model which encourages us to seek out and make partnerships with would-be competitors and offer them our travel solution. Additionally, our unique tech solution to the problem of travel will be protected by Patent.


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